Tuesday after Invocavit
Scripture: St. Luke 10:1-10 (NKJV)
10:1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road.
5 “But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.
8 “Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ 12 But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades.
16 “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
22 “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
When Jesus sent out the 70, their job description was simple. They were to preach the Gospel of forgiveness of sins for Jesus’ sake. Accompanying the preaching of the Gospel was power to heal the sick as it was given them by Christ.
It must have been quite something to experience such power as noted by their statement upon their return: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” How quickly they forgot that “signs and wonders” are not the Gospel nor are they a manifestation of the presence of the Gospel in a Christian’s life. The modern Charismatic movement has fallen into the same snare by leading people to believe that there must be manifestations of “signs and wonders” in their lives if they are really Christians.
One need only refer to Jesus when asked for a sign: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). The Christian need only look to Christ and Him crucified to know the “sign” that bears eternal significance. Clinging to Christ and Him crucified, one has what Jesus has so graciously granted through faith. There, in Christ, one has all that one needs for this life and the life to come for only in Him, not in the “signs and wonders,” does one find forgiveness of sins. And where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life, salvation, and the very knowledge that one’s name has been “written in heaven.”
Prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father, before the foundation of the world You wrote my name in the Book of Life. Keep me ever in your grace through faith in Christ. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.